Mothers Should Avoid Fluoride During Pregnancy, Canadian Study Shows
By Mark Lugris
A new Canadian study claims that exposure to fluoride in drinking water during pregnancy can be detrimental to kids’ IQs. The study, which analyzed 601 mother-child pairs from six cities in Canada, found that pregnant women with higher levels of fluoride in their urine tended to have children with lower test scores.
An average of one milligram-per-liter increase in urinary fluoride during pregnancy was linked to a 4.5-point lower IQ score in boys ages 3 to 4, researchers revealed. “Four and a half IQ points is of substantial societal and economic concern,” said senior researcher Christine Till, an associate professor of psychology at York University in Toronto. “We’re talking a magnitude that’s comparable to what we’re talking about when we talk about lead exposure.”
The study, published on August 19 in JAMA Pediatrics, was purely observational and cannot be considered conclusive. The issue of fluoride in drinking water has been the subject of debate since the 1950s, when the mineral started being added to drinking water in larger cities. Two out of every three US residents now live in an area with fluoridated water, compared with 38% of Canadians and 3% of Europeans, the researchers noted.
According to pediatric neuropsychologist David Bellinger, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a professor of environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “A strong case for a hypothesis is present when multiple studies conducted independently produce consistent results. I don’t think we are there yet in terms of fluoride neurotoxicity, but the results of this study move the needle in that direction.”
The American Dental Association, on the other hand, has released a statement saying that it is committed to fluoridation of public water supplies as the single most effective measure to prevent tooth decay. “Throughout more than 70 years of research and practical experience, the overwhelming weight of credible scientific evidence has consistently indicated that fluoridation of community water supplies is safe,” the ADA said. “The evidence-based research shows the recommended concentrations of fluoride (0.7 mg/L) used in community water fluoridation is beneficial and safe for the public.”
For the study, the researchers took urine samples from pregnant women during each trimester and tested their fluoride levels. They also monitored the women’s potential exposure to fluoride by recording how much water, tea, coffee and other water-based beverages they consumed. Then, their children’s IQ scores were then evaluated once they reached ages 3 to 4, and those results were compared against the levels of fluoride in the mother’s urine during pregnancy.
Studies have shown that fluoride passes through the placenta and accumulates in brain regions responsible for memory and learning. Fluoride also has been found to alter proteins and neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. The researchers discovered that urinary fluoride levels during pregnancy were linked to lower IQ scores in boys, although no statistically significant connection was found in girls.
A similar 2017 study in Mexico City also found that maternal urinary fluoride levels where associated with a 6.3-point decrease in IQ levels among boys and girls, Till said. She added that pregnant women would be wise to reduce their exposure to fluoride by avoiding fluoridated water sources, which account for 70% of fluoride exposure in adults.
“There’s absolutely no benefit of fluoride to a fetus or a baby without teeth,” Till said. “You’re not doing any harm to your baby by reducing your fluoride intake. You can reduce it and your baby will be fine.”
*Original article online at https://www.babygaga.com/mothers-should-avoid-fluoride-during-pregnancy/